Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Self- Boiled Seafood- We Are Sure Getting Lazy

Creatures thriving at the hot and cold extremes of the marine environment have amazed scientists who are celebrating the discovery of 500 previously unknown species in the oceans in the past year. They have been found beneath ice shelves, in the darkest, deepest abysses and in scalding water around hydrothermal vents on the sea bed. In a year of discovery, animals living in and around the oceans have smashed records for distance, numbers and sheer tenacity in the most inhospitable habitats imaginable. Among the most astonishing discoveries is a shrimp living within inches of the hottest water yet found at the bottom of the oceans. The animals live on a thermal vent at the equatorial floor of the Atlantic Ocean that spews out water and a soup of heavy metals heated to 407C (765F) — more than hot enough to melt lead. The shrimps dependent on the vent live in a narrow band of water at 60C (140F) and because of swirling currents are frequently washed with water at 80C (176F) or hotter. Scientists are intrigued about how they survive at such extreme temperatures and are trying to find out why their proteins do not break down.